Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Many of us were taught to pray this way as children. We knelt beside our beds, clasped our little hands under our chins, closed our eyes, and recited these words of Jesus Christ faithfully at bedtime. Then somewhere along the way, we stopped. We began to use prayer as a magic wand to try and move God to give us something, if we continued to pray at all.
We get in public and pray these grand, verbose prayers filled with tired clichés, vivid imagery, and abundant alliteration. Our hearts, however, haven’t knelt in prayer in years. We wait for a special retreat or New Year’s Eve service to earnestly come before the Almighty God in humble submission. We vow to spend more time in prayer……………..every year. We are constant and consistent in prayer when our lives are falling apart, but struggle to find the time when things are going well.
The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). If there were ever a time to pray without ceasing, it is now. We, as Christians, need to get back into the practice of spending quality time in prayer daily. The world is headed straight to hell, and we aren’t even praying as we ought. 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us a recipe for our afflictions that begins with humbling ourselves in prayer: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (KJV)